'There is a hunger among students'
This November, the Christian Unions of Cardiff held their annual city-wide events week for the 8th year running. Christian students on six different campuses across three different universities, as well as an international outreach team, stepped out to ask questions of their peers, illustrated stories, answered questions and proclaimed the good news.
We started running a city-wide mission eight years ago with a week of events entitled ‘Convinced?’ with the aim of persuading and engaging with people’s questions to (as you guessed it) convince them of the evidence, relevance, hope and reality of Jesus Christ and His gospel. For the last three years, we’ve focussed on the theme ‘Story Cardiff’. And our CU members have seen themselves how powerful stories can be. As non-Christians hear true stories of how Jesus Christ has spoken into the joys, struggles and everyday movements of the lives of their friends, they can’t deny that there is something real about the hope of the gospel. Our hope is that it compels them to find out more.
This year, I have been struck by the number of students we have encountered who have no family history of Christianity; no relationship with church; no knowledge about what the message of the gospel is.
I spoke to one student who was born and raised in Wales. When I asked about her views of the Christian faith, she said she’d never looked into it. She couldn’t say she did or did not agree with the message because she didn’t know what the message was. At this point the evening talk started, and we were presented with a picture of Jesus engaging with Levi, associating with sinners and giving life and dignity to the broken. Our speaker that night spoke frequently about our need to be forgiven for sin, and at the end I turned to her and asked her what she thought…to which she replied ‘I’ve never heard the word sinner before.’
Another British student with no knowledge of the Christian faith said: ‘It’s so great that the CU run events like this so that we can find answers to our questions’.
This week has provided these students with an opportunity to meet Jesus. As they continue to explore His life through Mark’s Gospel, using Uncover Mark, we pray that God will speak to and bring them to faith in Him.
Now almost one week on from the events week, we have started our follow up course: ‘Story Weekly’. During our first meeting we discussed ‘Who is Jesus?’. We saw more seekers flocking through the doors than we have seen in at least 6 years of students.
There is a hunger among students, as they become increasingly aware of the void in their lives that their degree; success; partying and relationships won’t fill.
And this hunger is the reason we must press on in this work to make Jesus Christ known. Though our approach may develop with the changing ways that students on campus have been engaging with the gospel, this same work continues. He is the only one that can satisfy, and we rejoice at the privilege of being used by Him to share this good news with the lost.
Hayley Marchant is a CU Staff Worker in Cardiff, where she loves hanging out with friends, watching films, and helping students grow in their love for the Lord and for the lost.
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